Introducing “Musings of a Web Developer”

Greetings, and welcome to my first monthly update! I’m excited to share with you some of the exciting developments and experiences I’ve had over the past month. I decided to call this series “Musings of a Web Developer” because that’s what it is; A reflection on some of the things I encounter in my line of work. As I embark on this journey, I hope you will join me every month for the subsequent updates; but also read through other articles I publish on my blog whenever I get a chance.

An Uptick in Web design Requests

One of the most exciting developments for me in January has been the surge in requests for website development services. It seems that people are getting started on their new year’s resolutions, and a professional website is high on their list of priorities.

However, many of these enquiries don’t go beyond the request for a quotation. Could it be unfavourable pricing, a simple test of the waters, or something else entirely? I don’t know. Despite this, I remain excited about the opportunities to help clients bring their visions to life. Whether they are looking to launch a new business, improve their online presence, or better connect with their audience.

ChatGPT: A New Partner in Problem-Solving

One exciting development for me over the past month was my first experience using ChatGPT to solve a programming challenge. I had used ChatGPT before, but mainly for text-based answers like rewriting an email or explaining a concept in simple terms. This time I had a programming challenge in PHP that I spent a week or so trying to solve in vain. Google, StackOverflow and even some close friends had not yielded any results. Then I tried chatGPT. The AI model did not give me the correct answer in one go, but after a few debugging steps, I arrived at a working solution. You can’t tell the excitement I had on my face. Not only did ChatGPT save me time, but it also provided new perspectives and insights that I wouldn’t have thought of on my own.

I can see how this tool could be a valuable partner in problem-solving, which is why it is my go-to pair programmer.

Discovering Design Thinking

I was recently introduced to a new concept called “design thinking“. I had heard this phrase before but had never known more than its definition until I was asked to learn something about it to do a particular task. This approach to problem-solving involves putting the target user at the centre of the design process and iterating based on feedback and observation.

An Illustration of the steps involved in Design Thinking
Steps Involved in Design Thinking

It is a great skill to have since we usually work on different projects that target diverse demographics. It is always up to designers to tailor a given website to meet the target user’s needs. Design thinking is crucial to achieving this, and I see how it can lead to more creative, user-centred solutions. I have committed myself to learn more about this methodology and incorporating it into my work.

Challenges for NGOs Accepting Payments and Donations

One more thing I encountered, and this one really shocked me, was the reluctance of many companies handling online payments to work with Non-Profit Organisations. After some research on why it is so, I learned that this arrear is considered high risk, and so many payment companies have shunned providing the service. It is only Flutterwave that swallowed the pin. But even for Flutterwave, strict measures have been set up in attempting to curb any fraud on the platform. I think this issue highlights the importance of supporting NGOs and providing more options to make it easier for them to accept payments and donations.

Thank you for joining me on this journey, and I look forward to sharing more with you in my next monthly update. Meanwhile, you can check out my blog for more posts.

To conclude this first edition of my Musings of a web developer, this past month has been a time of growth and new experiences, both professionally and personally. I’m excited to continue learning and applying these insights to my work. I am grateful for the opportunities to collaborate with clients and innovative tools like ChatGPT.

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